While pricing is a plus, buyers must exercise extreme caution with documentation and conversion, just in case of gram panchayat-owned land
All the benefits offered by community living notwithstanding, many buyers still fancy the idea of having a luxurious independent home on a parcel of land that they could call their own. As this is nearly impossible in cities, most buyers turn to the outskirts of the cities, to fulfil their desire to build large and spacious homes.
Gram panchayat-owned land, thus, becomes a clear choice for such buyers. Not only does this land offer buyers with an opportunity to have what they desire but it is also affordable. Nevertheless, buyers must still scrutinise such options carefully, before making an investment.
Gram panchayat land definition
As urban areas in the city fall under the ambit of municipal bodies, rural areas are governed by the gram sabhas or the gram panchayats. Although these bodies are alive before independence, they were given constitutional validity during the 1990s. Most of the event add these areas happened after this.
However, since land in rural India is primarily agricultural land, using it for projects is not legal, unless due process is followed, to change the land use. Depending on the city where the land is located, the collector or the district magistrate, is authorised to allow this conversion. In Delhi, on the opposite hand, all gram sabha land belongs to the design body, the Delhi Development Authority (DDA).
It is only after submitting all ownership-related documents and payment of the requisite conversion charges that the land would become legally open for residential use.
Earlier, gram sabhas or gram panchayats only had the power to lease the land within their jurisdiction for agricultural and associated activities. However, various courts in India have, through several judgments, established that gram panchayat land can be sold for construction purposes.
Benefits of investing in gram sabha / gram panchayat land
Gram panchayat lands are relatively cheaper to purchase. Moreover, the owner can enjoy being closer to nature, in greener and quieter areas than anything that falls within the city limits. The cost of living would also be lower in gram sabha areas, as you are likely to spend less on groceries, travel and entertainment.
Even when you decide to sell the house, the chances of earning a profit are much higher, as the capital appreciation is much higher in such properties, unlike the saturated markets in the city.
Disadvantages of investment in gram sabha / gram panchayat land
Owing to the monetary benefits involved, developers often launch plot-based projects in areas falling within gram sabha / gram panchayat limits. Such projects provide buyers with an opportunity to own a piece of land at affordable prices. However, the prospect is also fraught with certain risks. The infrastructure in areas falling within the gram sabha/gram panchayat limits, is usually within the developing stage. Thus the availability of utilities might not be the same, as that in areas falling within the municipal limits.
One would hardly see electricity supply getting impacted within the municipal limits. The same cannot be vouched for in rural areas. In many cases, these areas may not have piped water supply and the land owner may have to make his own arrangements for the same. The same goes for the sewerage system. Connectivity could also be an issue, if the area’s road network is not well developed. This could be especially problematic during the monsoons and result in flood-like conditions.